So according to this article in the Austin American Statesman, 35,000 people attended this weekend's festival. I was one of them! I love the book festival and the numbers show me many others do as well.
I didn't really get to sit in on any authors this year--I volunteered and got to work outside the Senate chambers talking to people waiting in line for the sessions. My second session was an author who had researched Warren Jeffs. a polygimist who ran a compound in west Texas and the session was packed!
I was amused by the number of questions people asked me --like I was a Capitol tour guide (I know where the bathrooms are now!) Good thing I've spent lots of time going to the festival in years past!
I must admit it makes me proud as a literacy educator to see so many people gathering to talk about stories and books. My favorite part of the festival is to stand outside one of the many children's tents and watch. To see kids loving the storytelling, the music and all the events just for them makes my heart happy and somewhat hopeful for the future. Reading and writing, storytelling and sharing--these skills aren't going away any time soon.
And a side note to my librarian friends.....have you seen the new crowd sourced, free ebook distributed by Kristin Fonticharo and Buffy Hamilton? It's called School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come. Download your copy here.